There seems to be a false belief that minimalism is all about easy living. It is true that it leads to a life of less stress, but when it comes to work folks who live this lifestyle work just as hard as those who don’t. The difference is that us Simple Living folks understand the value of our hard work. We direct our hard earned money in a direction that allows us to pursue a life that becomes much easier, less burdened life.
We save money, we pay off debt and find affordable solutions to living like living in a smaller place, or purchasing smaller homes that we actually can afford. On the weekends you won’t find us hanging out at the mall, but you might find us hiking or cycling a great natural trail. We drive older model vehicles and make sure that when take them out that we are making well planned routes to make the purchases we only need do it once. We share rides to work or sometimes take our bicycles when the weather is right. We pack our own lunches and brew our own coffee. Sometimes we gather and share food that we actually prepare and also share in good conversation about things that really matter to us and not just about those things we watch on TV. We discuss the struggles of life and also our successes. We teach our children the value of money and how it will become their responsibility to master it one day. We prefer the fresh vegetables from our own gardens over store bought ones and love canning them at the end of the season.
And most importantly we work hard. We go to jobs or work our own businesses with a positive attitude as we know that there is great reward in out hard work. Each dollar costs us a little bit out of our limited time here on Earth and understand that time is money. Just like we value our time we also value our money and make hard decisions about how to spend it.
When we do make purchases they are built around the question, “Will this bring value to my life?” And then we wait and think about it for a few days before we actually purchase it. We have a limited amount of clothing and need only those things to wear that fit into our lifestyle.
We live by the way of a budget and stick to it as we understand that if we don’t control our money, someone else will.
We go to work each day with an attitude of gratitude even knowing that the day ahead may be tough, the rewards will be enough to manage the little world we live in.
I write these things today because I see too many young people confusing simple living with doing nothing. Building and establishing a work ethic is of utmost importance as it has always been since the dawn of time. There are great lessons to be learned through the process of earning a living and without those lessons it is difficult to discover your own creativity that leads to becoming a part of society that contributes to the whole. When we find that we really love building houses or baking bread we also discover what lives in our very souls. We are all part of each other in a sense and living outside the community is not only difficult on our pocketbooks, it is also difficult on our souls.
Everyone has the need to be a part of a group. Maybe this is why we see so many young people finding refuge in being a gang member. Even when choosing to be rebellious the need of community still exists. Even in the thought of standing out from the crowd and being different we tend to be attracted to others who are also different as become part of something.
To my young friends, get up early, go to work and learn to find peace within yourself. It is the starting point of life in this world we live and won’t be long before you find the path you are meant to be on. When you see it you will know it and will connect with some pretty interesting souls along the way.